'Modern Family' actor to co-star with John Hawkes in Elmore Leonard tale

“Modern Family” star Ty Burrell will spend his first post-Emmy hiatus co-starring in writer-director Dan Schechter’s Elmore Leonard adaptation “Switch.”

Crime drama, which will serve as a prequel to Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown,” stars John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey (“Dexter”) as younger versions of Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson’s respective characters Louis Gara and Ordell Robbie, who also appear in Leonard’s novel “Rum Punch.”

Set 15 years before the events in “Jackie Brown,” story follows career criminals Ordell and Louis as they team up to kidnap Mickey Dawson, the wife of a corrupt Detroit real estate developer. When the husband refuses to pay the ransom for his wife’s return, the ex-cons are forced to reconceive their plan, and the angry housewife uses the duo to get her revenge.

Burrell will play Marshall Taylor, a married country club member who harbors a crush on Mickey and spends most of the film in a moral dilemma after witnessing her kidnapping.

The Gotham Group’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Lee Stollman will produce “Switch” with Michael Siegel and Leonard, while Jim Garavente will exec produce. Production is skedded to start in May.

While Burrell is perhaps best known for his comedic work on ABC’s “Modern Family,” which recently earned the star his first Emmy, his feature career includes a diverse lineup of roles. In addition to blockbusters such as “The Incredible Hulk” and “National Treasure: Book of Secrets,” Burrell has appeared in challenging dramatic fare such as Steven Shainberg’s Diane Arbus pic “Fur” and Doug Liman’s “Fair Game.” Thesp will next be seen in the comedies “Goats” and “Butter.”

Burrell is repped by ICM and attorney Frank Stewart.

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